Tomakomai Best Positioned for Hokkaido IR

The Hokkaido Prefecture Government estimates that an IR placed at Tomakomai city would draw more visitors and produce more revenues than its local rivals.

The prefectural government of Hokkaido, which has yet to officially confirm that it will seek an IR, is beset by the unique issue of having multiple local municipalities seeking to become hosts. As part of its policy process to decide on a potential IR location, an economic study of three candidate municipalities was made available on Tuesday.

The results found a clear advantage for Tomakomai city, which is projected to attract up to 8.7 million annual visitors and produce annual IR revenues as high as 156 billion yen (about US$1.4 billion). Tomakomai city’s own projections about the potential number of visitors and revenues are closely in line with the prefecture’s estimate. These figures are almost double the projected figures for Rusutsu village, Tomakomai’s closest competitor.

The proposal for an IR in Kitahiroshima city made by the Heiwa Corporation last December was not included among the estimates, probably because the local municipality has yet to take a position on the company’s initiative.

For her part, Governor Harumi Takahashi has promised that any selection of the municipality will be dictated by expert opinion and will be carried out through a transparent process.

However, Tomakomai’s strong advantages over its local rivals is already apparent, as the new report underlines. (AGB Nippon)